William  Bonville
William Bonville

October 5, 1925 - October 10, 2019
Born in Leominster, Massachusetts
Resided in Albany, Oregon



William “Bill” James Bonville, age 94, passed away in Albany, Oregon on October 10, 2019 after a brief illness. He had recently moved from Grants Pass, Oregon, where he had lived for 39 years. He was born on October 5, 1925 to Charles A. and Mary (Tennien) Bonville of Leominster, Massachusetts. He graduated from Leominster High School in 1942 and was employed as a machinist prior to enlisting in the United States Navy in December of that year. His fleet service was as a flight engineer on PB2Y patrol bombers. After war’s end he became a correspondent for the Naval Air Transport Service and gained his first journalistic by-line in the NATS Packet magazine in 1946.

Bill graduated from Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, in 1950, majoring in journalism. He earned a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1951, after which he was a reporter with the Worcester, MA, Telegram. Later he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and worked as a stringer for the Denver Post. In 1954 he was named editor of the Gallup, NM, Times. Moving to California in 1955 to work in the aerospace industry, first as a technical writer/editor, he became Manager of Technical Documentation and Training for Aerojet ElectroSystems Company. In his spare time he wrote a novel, Something of a Woman, and a philosophical study, Footnotes to a Fairytale: A Study of the Nature of Expression in the Arts. The latter work was the combined fruit of his major academic studies and instructional research while developing advanced learning systems for the Navy and Air Force at Aerojet.

Upon early retirement, Bill moved his family to a small farm in Oregon where he raised Hereford beef cattle and served on the Josephine County School Board. In the 1990’s, he helped organize the Oregon Reform Party, served as its State Secretary, and was a candidate for the District 4 Congressional seat. Over four decades, he wrote several Letters to the Editor and Guest Opinion pieces, most of which were focused on matters of youth education, that were published in the Grants Pass Daily Courier.

Past studies in cultural history stemming from his interest in things artistic led Bill to travel extensively in Europe and the Middle East. Planning a visit to Southern Italy, he researched the Italian South, preparing extensive notes that became a travel guidebook published by Mills and Sanderson as Sicilian Walks. This led to similar researches for travel in Greece and Northern Spain’s El Camino de Santiago, published by SynergEbooks as a travel adventure series, including an updated edition of his book on Sicily.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Phyllis (Barrette) Bonville; son Charles K. Bonville of Albany, OR; daughter Eleanor Doran of Tallahassee, FL; grandchildren Dexter, Aaron, Peter and Zoey Bonville of Albany, and William and Brennan Doran of Raleigh, NC. He is also survived by stepdaughters Kim King of California (and sons Christopher and James Philhower), and Katerina (King) McCausland of California (and her 4 children and 5 grandchildren).




Eagle Point National Cemetery
2763 Riley Road
Eagle Point, OR US 97524
Friday, October 25, 2019
10:00 AM